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Beating Heart Headband 


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Beating Heart Headband 

Written By: Becky Stern 

/* TOOLS: 


• PanaVise(1) 

i • Mintronics: MintDuino (1) 

• Scissors (1) 

1 or components to build your own 

• Sewing machine (1) 

1 • Open Heart LED Display Kit (1) 

or needle & thread 

' • Perf board (1) 

• Soldering iron (1) 

i • Brocade ribbon (1) 

• Wire cutter/stripper (1) 

or fabric for the headband 

• Elastic cord (1) 

1 • Pulse Sensor (1) 


This project is a collaboration with Jimmie Rodgers. Build a pulse-sensing headband that 
flashes a heart-shaped LED display to the beating of your heart! Uses a scratch-built perf 
board Arduino built from Mintduino parts, the Open Heart LED display, Yury and Joel's pulse 
sensor, and a rechargeable lithium battery and power board. The circuit is built into a 
brocade headband with elastic at the back. 

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Beating Heart Headband 

• Gather materials and tools. 

• Download the necessary Arduino code for the heartbeat headband , 

Assemble the Open Heart display. 

Further instructions on the Open Heart documentation page 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Build the Mintduino circuit on the enclosed solderless breadboard to start out, and fire up 
the Open Heart test code. 

Add the pulse sensor, load the 
headband's Arduino sketch onto the 
microcontroller, and test the 

Be sure not to pinch the connectors 
on the back of the sensor's circuit 
board, just touch the side with the 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Dry fit the components onto a piece of perfboard. 

Fit the heart display over the components, and mark the component layout with a marker. 

• Trim the circuit board to fit behind the heart display with a pair of shears 

• Double check the fit by pairing the board with the display. 

• File the edges of the fiberglass perfboard to be smooth. 

• Wear a dusk mask! 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Solder up the components of the perfboard Arduino, using component leads and small bits 
of wire to make connections as necessary. 

Headband time! Measure around the circumference of your head, then cut two pieces of 
ribbon to that length. 

Thanks to Britex Fabrics for supplying the beautiful brocade and grosgrain ribbon for this 

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Beating Heart Headband 

• Cut a piece of cord elastic about 
six inches long. 

• Tie the ends together in a square 
knot to make a loop of elastic. 

Step 10 



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Line up the ribbons and use a 
zigzag stitch along the sides, but 
only sew together the ends of the 
ribbons, leaving the middle section 
open as shown. 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Step 11 

We'll connect the ends of the ribbon with the elastic to form the headband. 

Fold and pin the ribbon ends to enclose the raw edge, and sandwich one side of the elastic 
loop in the fold. 

Use this seam to hide the knot in the elastic. 

Step 12 

Stitch the ribbon seam around the elastic and repeat on the other side. 

Now the headband is stretchy where it needs to be, and firm everywhere else to support 
the (non-stretchy) circuit! 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Step 13 

• Wire up the sensor and power board and lay the circuit out on the headband to decide 
where the display will go. 

• When you find the spot you like, pierce the heart display's header pins through the outer 
ribbon of the headband and then through the perfboard. Solder it up. 

Step 14 

Stitch the power board in place, keeping in mind where the tiny lithium battery will go. 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Step 15 

Run the sensor out a small opening near the back of the headband, so it can loop around 
and clip to the ear. 

Stitch down the wires so they stay put inside the headband. 

^^^K^ mr^^k 

_ ^^^^^^M ^L ^* ■•■ 

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• Use a zigzag stitch to sew the headband shut along the remaining open edges. 

• You may have to hand-stitch some spots too tight to get at with the sewing machine. 

• Leave an opening near the power board for toggling the power and changing the battery 

• I used snaps to make a recloseable opening so I can show off the circuit. 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Step 17 

• Install the battery and turn it on. 

• Attach the ear clip to the pulse sensor and try it on! 

Step 18 

• Clip the sensor to your earlobe. 

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Beating Heart Headband 

Step 19 

• Congratulations, you're done! 

Additional photography by Matt Richardson. 

This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 29. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 0-31 1 1 :31 :24 PM. 

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